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The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver could lead to an increase in student-visa fraud as people in the sex trade recruit young women from overseas to work as prostitutes
Border cops warn hookers could enter on student visas in 2010.
“With the huge numbers of tourists expected to visit British Columbia during the Olympics, the possibility for this type of human smuggling cannot be discounted.”
In an interview this week, CBSA spokeswoman Paula Shore refused to comment on what, if any, steps the agency is taking to prevent the trafficking of foreign women during the Olympics, other than to say the agency is constantly on guard for immigration infractions.
“We’re always on the lookout for violations, whether the Olympics are coming or nothing is coming,” she said.
On Tuesday, The Sun reported that student-visa fraud has become so widespread in B.C. that the CBSA is able to investigate only about five per cent of the cases it receives.
Most of those who commit student-visa fraud are simply looking for an easy way into the country.
But the CBSA report, obtained by The Sun through the Access to Information Act, warns that some come to this country for more nefarious reasons.
“There are elements within the international student population that pose serious risks to public safety and national security while they are in Canada,” it states.
Indeed, another CBSA report on student fraud, written in June 2006, notes that foreign students in B.C. have been involved in various types of crime.
“There have been some in British Columbia who are associated with serious or organized criminal activity such as drug trafficking, firearms offences, prostitution and human smuggling,” it states.
The report does not detail exactly how many such cases have been discovered in B.C.
But it notes that some foreign students are “known or suspected of being associated with Asian organized gangs” while others “have been found by the RCMP in possession of cocaine and heroin for the purposes of trafficking.”
The August CBSA report even details one case of a foreign student in B.C. who “claimed to be working as an intelligence agent for a foreign government” — although he claimed to be here spying on a third country, not Canada itself.
Student-visa fraud could even pose risks to national security, according to the report.
“Although there have been no student fraud cases related to suspected terrorism, this possibility cannot be dismissed either,” it states, noting that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers were in the U.S. on student visas.
Shore refused to comment in detail on the report, but said that immigration fraud cases involving national security and criminal activity are given top priority by the agency.
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